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Looking Back After 3 Years: the 2011 Draft

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The rule of thumb has always been that it takes three years to judge a draft. Well, it’s been three years now since The 2011 Draft – capitalized because it was the one that marked reboot 3.0 of the Marvin era. So, how does it look in hindsight?

Round 1, pick 4: WR A.J. Green. Most draft experts will tell you that teams shouldn’t take wide receivers, a.k.a. “shiny hood ornaments” early in the draft (and for the record I was one of them). But this selection was a home run for the Bengals. In three seasons Green has amassed more than 3,800 yards and 29 TDs. While I believe he still relies too much on his elite physical abilities and could be even better if he applied himself more, he is inarguably one of the top wideouts in the game. Grade after three years: A+

Round 2, pick 35: QB Andy Dalton. The Red Rifle has become one of the most – if not the most – controversial players in Bengals history. But however you feel about whether the team should retain his services and at what price, the fact is that Dalton has clearly outplayed his draft slot. Only the Bengals’ failure to win a playoff game mars his tenure to date. Grade after three years: A-

Round 3, pick 66: DE/LB Dontay Moch. The first real dud of the 2011 draft, Moch’s career has been derailed by injuries and an issue with recurring migraines. In two years with the Bengals, he appeared in one game and registered no statistics. Last year he was released and picked up by Arizona, where he managed three tackles and a sack in four games. The Cards let him go after the season and now he is back with Cincinnati, so there is a faint chance he could still come on. But for now, grade after three seasons is: F

Round 4, pick 101: G Clint Boling. Thanks to injuries, it didn’t take long for Boling to find his way into the starting lineup, starting three games and appearing in five his rookie season. He did a good job all things considered, but probably lost more battles than he won in 2011. Still, after he built up his strength he was an adequate 16 game starter in 2012 and started the first 12 games in 2013 before being IR’d with an ACL injury. All in all I would put Clint in the “serviceable” category and think he’s been good value for a fourth round selection. Grade after three years: B.

Round 5, pick 134: DB Robert Sands. Aside from getting arrested in January of last year for assaulting his wife, Sands did nothing as a Bengal. He was released last June and appears to be out of the NFL. Grade after three years: F

Round 6, pick 167: WR Ryan Whalen. With 11 catches for 80 yards and no TDs in three years with the team, Whalen remains a Bengal only because he has pictures of Marvin Lewis have carnal relations with the corpse of Paul Brown. At least, that’s all I can figure. Grade after three years: D

Round 7, pick 207: DB Korey Lindsay. Didn’t even make the team in 2011, instead latching on with the Cardinals. Now listed as a Saint. Grade after three years: F

Round 7, pick 246: RB Jay Finlay. Currently residing in the “where are they now?” file. Grade after three years: F

Final grade after three years: While most of the players chosen in 2011 did little to nothing as a Bengal, they were with the exception of Moch late-rounders who, more often than not, wash out of the league in short order. Moreover, the first two picks were so successful that they render the rest of the draft largely irrelevant. If the Bengals could reliably get two Pro Bowlers out of every draft they would be in the hunt as long as the league lasts. So final grade: A

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Agreed, except I'd put it at A Plus. If we had this type of draft every year, or every other year, we'd have the best roster in the league, bar none.

Green is one of those gifted athletes who's athleticism sort of works against him in the public arena. He makes everything look so easy, sometimes I find myself wanting to yell at him to put a little effort into it. But he is putting effort into it. It just doesn't look like it, he's that talented.

First 4 slots, 3 starters, 2 of them pro bowlers. The non starter slot could still develop.

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I'd give the Dontay Moch selection a 4th year.

An "F" after 3 for sure, but they always played him out of position at OLB and they are moving him back to his natural DE spot he played all through college.

I know I should reserve my optimism about a player that has done so little, but he will be one I will keep my eye on through camps.

He was always disruptive at the DE spot in college and he still has that speed you can't teach coming off the edge.

If he still does nothing and washes out, then the "F" will stand.

Overall, yeah i'm good with an "A".

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